Gathered and Scattered: God’s Design for His Church
The church is the most powerful gathering in the world, but in today’s culture it has been domesticated. The church is not simply a building or a meeting; it is a fellowship of believers who worship God together, carry forth the gospel, and share their hearts, minds, and possessions.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What is one thing about this message that was particularly helpful, challenging, or encouraging for you?
- What is the church? What have your experiences with the church been like?
- Read and discuss Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37. What does this show us about the church? What here is descriptive (narrative, informational description) versus prescriptive (a direct command, something we too should be doing)? What elements from these verses do you see as strengths in our church? What areas are weak in our church?
- In what ways has our understanding of the church become diluted or domesticated?
- In what ways are you tempted to “sanitize” the gospel? How does this affect the church?
- What should it look like when the church is “gathered”? What should it look like when the church is “scattered”? What are the purposes of each? What happens if you have one aspect, but not the other?
- How is the church meant to be a “conduit of grace”? What does it mean that the church is supposed to be a “gift to the world”? What is your role in that?
- What happens to the church if the centrality of Jesus is lost? How can we avoid this?
- Do you treat the church as a priority or a preference? Why? How does this align or depart with what you see in Scripture?
- Spend some time in prayer about the things you’ve discussed. How might God be moving you to be more intentional in your treatment of and interaction within the church?